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Sean O’Malley can knock out Merab Dvalishvili

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Cory Sandhagen envisions UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley stopping Merab Dvalishvili.

O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) announced that he’d like to fight Dvalishvili (17-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) next to prove to everyone that he isn’t ducking the streaking contender.

Dvalishvili is a relentless grappler. He attempted a UFC record 49 takedowns in his win over Petr Yan and managed to take down Olympic gold medalist wrestler Henry Cejudo five times in a come-from-behind win at UFC 298. But with O’Malley’s precision and knockout power, Sandhagen wouldn’t be surprised if the champion was able to take out Dvalishvili.

“I think O’Malley has a really good shot at clipping Merab and finishing him,” Sandhagen said in an interview with Fanatics View. “That’s never really a good place to put all your eggs in a basket. That’s not a super reliable way to win. But, it’s reliable for O’Malley usually. So, I think if you have to start standing against O’Malley for five rounds and he’s that much better of a striker than Merab.

“Merab is a far superior wrestler and grappler than O’Malley is, but O’Malley is a far superior striker, so that makes it really interesting. Also just the style Merab has in grappling, he doesn’t really hold people down. He kind of lets them work back up and so if I was Merab, I would try and stick him to the mat and keep him there. If I was O’Malley, I would use that first minute of each round to really do what he did to Sterling and pinpoint, and missile this guy from a far. So, I can see O’Malley winning.”

Sandhagen (17-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is angling for a fight against another high-level wrestler in undefeated Umar Nurmagomedov. The former interim title challenger hopes a win would lead to a shot at the winner of the projected matchup between O’Malley and Dvalishvili.

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